From amusing novelty to health food staple to finished-product ingredient darling, chia has made itself over and over in the last 20 years. It’s easy to see why: The seed has so much potential. It’s one of the few plant-based sources of omega-3s, has ample fiber and offers protein.
When ground, chia virtually disappears into food, unlike flax, which has a similar nutrient profile but a polarizing fishy flavor. Even chia’s unique texture has become a selling point for manufactures. In fact, in 2012, products with chia seeds or chia oil as a primary ingredient increased by 256 percent in the natural channel, according to SPINS.